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    Dota 2 – Snapfire Speculations

    Last year Valve preemptively solved the problem of post-TI blues with the Grimstroke release. It was surprisingly effective since we got to analyze and theorycraft around the hero, keeping us busy and entertained. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the case this year, so we are mostly left with speculations and conjectures for the time being.

    Speculating can also be fun, though. While there is very little to talk about when it comes to Void Spirit, we got a fully animated trailer for Snapfire and will try to guess what kind of hero she is.

    It’s a Trap!

    The trailer starts with a bird being eaten by an alligator-looking trap and it looks like it could be one of the hero’s abilities.

    While there are several mine-like effects in the game already, all of them have different effects and different activation conditions, so this can fit in quite well, as long as it does something unique.

    How to train your lizard

    There are several interesting talking points when it comes to Snapfire’s mount.

    We see Snapfire move both on her own and mounted. She runs to help Invoker in the flashback sequence and later chases Batrider riding her lizard. The lizard itself has also been shown acting independently from the hero. Maybe we will get something similar to Lone Druid’s bear, where you essentially get two units to control independently, but can combine them for some extra effects?

    Extra effects might include lizard-mounted AA-guns. In the chase sequence we see Snapfire riding her lizard while shooting the fleeing Batrider. While shooting in itself is hardly a talking point, the fact the it is done on the move is interesting. Right now only Windranger has the ability to auto-attack while moving and Snapfire could borrow that mechanic, perhaps in a more restricted way, since she was only moving forward in the scene, while her “steering wheel” was used for controlling the gun.

    Our best guess for now is that it is a vector-targeted movement command that allows the player to choose the attack target, while continuously moving forward. Given how at least half the shots in the scene missed the mark, it can also be a skill-shot of sorts, with the player controlling the direction of the gun.

    We also see the lizard breathe lava or something similar to it. It looked viscous and seemed to ignore and even jam Timbersaw’s Reactive Armor. Our best guess is that it is a single-target DoT effect that might apply Break or reduce the enemy Armor. We are hoping for the former, since only four heroes have it in their kit, with two of them requiring an Aghanim’s Upgrade.

    We’ve got cookies

    Somehow in the world where Black Holes can be created at will and the Space-Time Continuum can be manipulated, Cookies are still incredibly exciting. In fact, they are probably the most intriguing part of the release trailer.

    Our first idea when we saw the trailer was that cookies provide single-use talent upgrade. After all, we see Invoker use AoE Deafening Blast right after eating one:

    However, that complicates things to a point where it doesn’t seem plausible. What if the hero you are using it on doesn’t actually have a talent that upgrades one of their spells? Can the Cookie give earlier access to a GPM talent to an ally then? How does it choose between left and right talent? Does it provide stats bonuses, if the next talent selection is something like +30 MS or +8 Armor? If so, then for how long?

    These questions don’t seem to have a logical answer that can explain all of them at the same time, hence we don’t think this idea is correct. At the same time, AoE Deafening Blast simply can’t be ignored and we have a theory for why it was shown.

    If we consider the whole scene being a flashback from Snapfire’s memory, we can potentially think of pre-7.00, pre-talent Dota. Before talents were introduced to the game, Invoker would get AoE Deafening Blast by maxing out Quas, Wex and Exort and it was only possible once he was almost at max level or if he had an Aghanim’s upgrade that bumped his orbs to level seven.

    That makes us believe that Cookies provide Aghanim’s Blessing buff for a period of time. Given how this mechanic was removed from Io’s Tether talent, it doesn’t encroach on anything else already in the game, while the effect was already tested in the game before and looked relatively balanced.

    Level of the ability could dictate how long the buff lasts and what the cooldown and the cast range on it are. We can also be completely wrong about it, with it being a lot simpler, providing cooldown reduction or spell amplification. It can also be a lot more complex, providing extra AoE to abilities. Let us know what your theories on Cookies are in the comment section below.

    As seen on Dotabuff

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